A PUB landlord is rallying the community through a football match to raise funds for two families struck down in tragic circumstances.

Two men, who played darts and pool for Adam Prestage’s Witton Chimes pub, Witton Street, have fallen on hard times through serious illness.

And the match, previously postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic, at Witton Albion’s Wincham Park ground on Sunday, kick-off 2pm, is arranged in order to garner some much needed support.

“James Tomlinson, who played darts, was struck down with Covid early on as the pandemic struck,” said Adam.

“He lost nine stones when in a coma for 14 weeks and at one point he was given just the weekend to live.

“Slowly he came round and has had a difficult rehabilitation, with his wife Mel having to give up work to become his carer and look after their three children all under 10.

“James is still in a wheelchair and still has a long way to go.

“Darren Porter played pool for Chimes and upon finishing work as a bin man he felt unwell and collapsed.

“It was found he had a stroke. Daz has had a painful rehabilitation and has lost use of one side of his body and is also in a wheelchair.

“Their daughter was just three months old when the tragedy struck

“Both families have really struggled and both lads may never work again.

“This is why I had to do something and the charity game was born.

“It’s vital we do all we can to help them and raise as much as possible.”

Adam’s team Prestige will be playing a side called Marauders organised by James Maddock.

Darren’s brother Wayne and his older son Keegan are set to feature as part of Adam’s squad.

He added: “I am so grateful to so many who have worked to make this happen.

“John Salmon, chairman of Witton Albion, has allowed us to use the pitch and facilities at Wincham Park which is a fantastic gesture and demonstrates his commitment to the community of Northwich.

“Also Jackie who manages the social club, her and her team will be ready with drinks and refreshments.

“A big thanks to all the players and officials for giving up their time and in fact all are donating £10 each to play. I think that again is a fantastic gesture.

“And thanks to the local businesses who have sponsored our match day programme and match ball. Again this shows real community spirit at a time when many are struggling.

“This last 18 months have been so tough. I hope this day also puts a few smiles back on people’s faces and it shows what a community can do when they pull together.”

Tickets are £5 per adult, children are free. They are on sale at Witton Chimes, The Salt Barge and Castle Private. Pay on the day will also be accepted.